School and childcare updates: Coronavirus

School and childcare updates: Coronavirus

Do not send your child to school if they are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 or if they feel unwell, even if they have had a negative test result.

Covid symptoms and testing

As Covid restrictions are relaxed it remains vitally important that we all continue to follow the guidelines to keep everyone safe and well.

Following the basic Hands, Face, Space guidance remains one of the most effective ways of reducing the spread of the virus and we’re urging everyone not to become complacent in this.

If you’re a parent or carer with children at school, there are a number of additional key points you need to be aware of, particularly in relation to testing, self-isolation and when you need to keep your children off school.

Types of Covid test

There are two types of test for Covid-19. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is for people who have symptoms – a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.

Those identified as a close contact of a positive case are also advised to take a PCR test.

The Lateral Flow Device test (LFD) is for people who do not have symptoms. One in three people who have Covid-19 do not have any symptoms and LFD testing helps to avoid people without symptoms from unknowingly passing the virus on to others.

If your child is at secondary school, it is likely that they will be taking regular Lateral Flow Device tests. This is also the same type of test that parents and carers with school aged children can use at home. Please note however, that LFD tests should not be used by children at primary school or nursery school.

When to test and what to do if positive

  • If you or your child have one of the three main Covid-19 symptoms you should arrange a PCR test. You should not use an LFD test if you have symptoms.
  • If you or your child has had a positive result from an LFD test then you must arrange a PCR test to confirm the result. To book a PCR test go to https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or telephone 119 (7am – 11pm).
  • If you need support with self-isolation Newcastle City Council’s Welfare and Wellbeing Team may be able to help you. Visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/welfare or call 0800 170 7001 or 0191 277 8000 (8am-8pm Monday to Friday, 9am-3pm Saturday).
  • If you or your child is required to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment. For more details see https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/public-health-wellbeing-and-leisure/public-health-services/coronavirus-covid-19-6.
  • Finally – always follow the Hands, Face, Space rules and help keep everyone safe.

Contact tracing and isolation

Schools are no longer responsible for identifying and contacting pupils who have been in close contact with someone in school who has tested positive for Covid.

This means that if your child is required to take action as a result of being identified as a close contact of a positive case you will notified by either the national NHS Track and Trace team or a local team working on behalf of the NHS, rather than by the school.

From 16 August 2021, anyone under the age of 18, or adults who are double vaccinated, are not required to isolate if they are identified as a close contact, however they will be advised to take a PCR test and, if that is positive, they and their household must follow the public health guidance.

    Vaccination

    We strongly encourage those eligible to take up the offer of the COVID-19 vaccine when invited by the NHS to do so. The vaccines are safe and effective and provide the best protection against COVID-19. More information can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/

    Additional information on the pop up vaccination Centre, drop in vaccine sessions and vaccine bus locations can be found on our Covid vaccine information page.

    Mental health

    It is vital that we all look after our mental health and wellbeing. Covid has made this more important than ever. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. There is lots of support to help you and your children with their mental health.

    For information, tips and advice visit Every Mind Matters at www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters

    Tyneside and Northumberland Mind offer support to those struggling with their mental health. Visit www.tynesidemind.org.uk or call 0191 477 45 45, option 2 (Mon-Fri 9am – 4pm).

    Kooth - www.kooth.com - is a free, safe, anonymous online support service for young people aged 11-18years. They can chat online to counsellors, weekdays from midday until 10pm and weekends 6pm-10pm

    Qwell - www.qwell.io - is a free, safe, anonymous online support service for adults aged 26 and over.  Online counselling is available from midday to 10pm weekdays and from 6pm to 10pm weekends. People can drop in for one-to-one instant text-based chats or book a session in advance.

    Anna Fraud Foundation - www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk

    Anxious Minds - www.anxiousminds.co.uk provides free mental health and wellbeing su

    Young Minds youngminds.org.uk/about-us provides online support for children and young people’s mental health. Crisis Messenger gives 24/7 text support for young people experiencing a mental health crisis.  Texts are free to most mobile providers:  Text YM to 85258, open 24/7

    There is a free parent’s helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Friday 9.30am – 4pm)

    Child line www.childline.org.uk  A place a child or young person can talk about something they are worried about. This can be done online or by phone 08001111.

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